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Memorial

Cleopatra's needle - war damage Cleopatra's needle

Plaque: Cleopatra's needle - war damage

Inscription

The scars that disfigure the pedestal of the obelisk, the bases of the sphinxes, and the right hand sphinx, were caused by fragments of a bomb dropped in the roadway close to this spot, in the first raid on London by German aeroplanes a few minutes before midnight on Tuesday 4th September 1917.

Londonist have a eye-witness account of this event.

Site: Cleopatra's needle (2 memorials)

WC2, Victoria Embankment

A misnomer since there is no connection with Cleopatra at all. In 1500 BC Pharaoh Thothmes erected two red granite obelisks at Heliopolis. The Romans took them to Alexandria in 12 BC where an earthquake brought them down. In 1819, following Nelson's victory at the Battle of the Nile, Britain was presented with this (near-buried) obelisk by the Viceroy of Egypt. It was not until 1877 that funds had been raised for shipment to London, which involved building a pontoon barge around the stone. The 'Cleopatra' was not a lucky ship; it was holed and sunk during the launch. Salvaged, it was then almost lost in the Bay of Biscay in a storm in which 6 crew were killed and the barge broke loose from the towing vessel. But eventually it reached London and the obelisk was erected on a plinth containing a time capsule from that era. Its mate was given to the States and erected in Central Park, New York in 1881. The Cleopatra's needle in Place de la Concorde, Paris is also one of a pair but its mate is still in situ in Luxor.

Go to map of other memorials in this area

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Cleopatra's needle - war damage

Information Subjects commemorated

46166

World War 1

We'd always assumed that this war was known as the Great War until WW2 came a...

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This section lists the other memorials at the same location as the memorial on this page:
Cleopatra's needle - war damage

Information Also at this site

45415

Cleopatra's needle

Pink granite, 68.5 feet high, 186 tons. Vulliamy created, and Youngs cast, th...

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